Archives for July 2014

Tips for Distressing and Antiquing Furniture

Want to get antique furniture without spending too much? There is a great DIY solution available for that – you can distress and antique your own furniture and you get to save as well. Just follow the instructions below:

  • Ensure the furniture is clean before you begin. Apply some liquid sander/deglosser on it with a dry rag (no need to do so if you are staining the top).
  • After covering the surfaces, use the spray primer on the furniture. To avoid over-spraying on the drawers, use a piece of cardboard under the edges of the drawer fronts.
  • Use the spray paint on the surfaces. Ensure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly, especially regarding recoating and dry times. This is important so that the paint finish doesn’t crackle, peel, or wrinkle.
  • An electric sander can be used to strip the top as it is going to be stained. For removing the factory finish and getting down to bare wood, use 80-grit sandpaper and then 150-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. Any areas that can’t be reached with the electric sander can be worked on using a standard one.
  • The objective of distressing the paint is to get a natural look. With the sandpaper, remove paint in areas where natural wear would occur like raised areas, corners, areas around handles and/or knobs.
  • Apply the stain evenly on the top with a rag. A second coat can be applied if necessary. Using a paint brush and stain, apply stain to the entire drawer face.
  • Wipe off the stain of the drawer front with a rag, while taking care not to remove too much. The key is to leave it settled in cracks and crevices, while raised areas and flat areas will be left with only a very slight tint of stain.
  • Repeat the process of staining and wiping till the entire piece of furniture is antiqued.
  • To give the drawer pulls a fresh look, start with a coat of primer, followed by a coat of spray paint, and ending with one or two coats of clear sealer.
  • Lastly, apply a minimum of two coats of polyurethane on the top using a foam brush. Be careful with the recoating and dry times as mentioned in the manufacturer’s instructions.

How to Repair Peeling Paint

Peeling paint is a common problem in most households these days. Needless to say, it can completely spoil the look of your home by being an eyesore in an otherwise attractive area. Moreover, it is unsafe because it acts as a breeding ground for bacteria and mildew. Repairing peeling paint might take time but it is necessary.

Tips to fix peeling paint:

  • There is no harm in being prepared and protecting yourself. Regardless of the fact if the peeling paint is lead-based, you need to don a safety mask, glasses, and gloves. Whether the size of the area to fix is large or small, always put a large piece of plastic or tarp near the area to catch stray pieces of paint. Don’t forget to tape off nearby trim areas and also remove any furniture, rugs, or other furnishings from the space.
  • Work on the affected area by removing all paint from it. You can easily do so with a wire brush or paint scraper. Scrape off all the loose paint carefully.
  • After the peeling paint is removed, there might be cracks or holes left behind. All necessary repairs should be done before repainting. Use a putty knife to apply a patching compound; smooth and let dry as per the directions of the manufacturer.
  • Even if the patching isn’t necessary, you still need to sand the space so that the area doesn’t have any grooves or lines. A very fine-grit sandpaper should serve the purpose.
  • The area to be repainted should be clean. Use a slightly damp sponge or tack cloth, wipe off the area that needs to be painted, and then wipe it again with a clean, dry rag. Let the area dry completely before you begin to paint.
  • Moisture on the walls is often the common cause for peeling paint. If it is so in your case, you need to prevent the newly painted area from the same problem – prime the walls. Cover the surface with primer and allow it to dry as per the manufacturer’s directions.
  • After all steps are complete, you can start painting the wall. Apply the first coat evenly over the prepared area. Let it dry, apply a second coat if needed, and then let it dry again.

For more tips on how to repair peeling paint, call or email us at Southwest Professional Painting. We would be happy to assist you! 602-490-0979

Tips to Store Paint Properly

Have paint you need to store, and not sure where or how you should store it?  There are a few paint storing techniques you need to know because you can’t just lock up cans of paint in any room and leave it till it is required again.

  • Storage areas, such as a well-insulated utility closet or garage, are a good choice as they are dry and protected from extreme temperatures.
  • If you store paints cans for a long time, they tend to rust or corrode, both on the inside and outside (especially latex- and acrylic-based paints). Place a bunch of newspapers under the cans as it protects them from moisture in case they are standing on absorbent finished surfaces. Dry, porous surfaces like unfinished wood shelves will prevent corrosion on the outside.
  • It is advisable not to store cans on cement surfaces.
  • The lid of the can should be sealed tight so that the paint is well-preserved. This is done to prevent oxidation (if in contact with air) and reduce evaporation. Keeping it free from air is vital because sometimes the even air inside the can causes the surface to form a layer of skin.
  • Buy clear plastic food wrap from a grocery store. This is used for packing leftovers and sealing lidless food containers and bowls. Cut off three squares of the material, so that it is enough to overlap the top of the can by 2 inches.
  •  Push down a sheet of plastic wrap along the insides of the can and stop when it touches the surface of the paint. Press along the edges of the can so that it forms a complete seal over the entire surface.
  • Over the rim of the paint can, place the remaining two squares of plastic wrap. This acts like an additional seal and moisture barrier, making it easier to remove and replace the lid.
  • Use a short section of two-by-four lumber in order to reduce distortion of the rim and lid when the can is closed. The tool distributes the force of a hammer equally across the lid. Don’t use excessive pressure while tamping it down with the hammer. Rotate the lumber often to slowly shut the lid without bending it or causing dents in it or the rim.

Have questions or need advice, call Southwest Professional Painting, 602-490-0979

Latex or Oil-based Paint?

Your home needs a makeover every now and then and painting is a crucial part of that. You can choose a mix of both vibrant and subtle hues to give your home a completely new look. But before that, you need to decide which type of paint is suitable for your requirements – latex or oil-based paint.

Latex Paint

It is also known as water-based paint. Check out its benefits:

  • Easy to apply and extremely durable.
  • It can be used anywhere in your home (both inside and outside).
  • The dry time is quite fast and it is resistant to fading and cracks too.
  • If it leaves behind streaks or brush marks during application, there is nothing to worry because it blends together when dry.
  • Spilled or scattered paint can be wiped clean with water.
  • Latex paint is the perfect choice if you or a family member has allergies, asthma, or other respiratory illnesses, since it is virtually odor-free.

It is advisable not to use this type of paint on wood as it swells the grain of wood, thus making sanding between coats essential.

Oil-based Paint

For areas with high traffic, those exposed to grease splatter, exterior areas or covering trim work, oil-based paint is the ideal choice as it gives an attractive glossy finish. Your walls should be in good condition before painting oil-based paint highlights any flaws or imperfections.

  • Resistant to stains and fading even in the presence of direct sunlight.
  • Durability is much more than latex paint, which is why it is used a lot in kitchens where food or grease splatters can be wiped away without difficulty.
  • Maintenance is easy as it is heavy duty paint and doesn’t come off when it is scrubbed on.

The problem with oil-based paint is that, it is tougher to apply than a latex one, with a longer dry time. It can take anywhere from 24-48 house in order to dry completely. Cleaning with water is not an option in case there are paint splatters. Though it has high resistance, this ability diminishes as the years go by, which is why oil-painted walls often tend to fade and yellow over time.

At Southwest Professional Painting, we can help you pick out products that will benefit your home for years. Let our representative talk to you and provide a quote – we guarantee you will not be disappointed!

 

Safety Tips for Painting Exteriors

It is fun and exciting to paint the exterior of your home, but if you are not careful, you can injure yourself while doing the job. If there are family members/friends helping you out, it is your responsibility to ensure their safety too.

  • The ladder needs to be placed in such a way that for every 3 feet up, your ladder should be placed 1 foot away from the house (3:1). This ratio makes your position more stable. The ground underneath should be firm without rocks or loose objects around it. Don’t use plastic drop cloths under any circumstances for putting underneath the ladder as it will enable it to move and kick out from under you.
  • Have your hand and both feet on the ladder at all times without straddling between the house and the ladder. The latter position might prove fatal as the ladder might become unstable causing you to fall backwards.
  • If there are power lines next to where you are painting, use a fiberglass ladder since they don’t conduct electricity. Even if you accidentally touch a power line while on the ladder, you won’t receive an electric shock.
  • It is advisable to have someone stay beside you in case you have to place the ladder in an unsafe place. They can give you a heads-up if they notice anything wrong.
  • You need to be extra cautious while painting the roof. If you lose your footing, then the fall might cause grave injuries. Invest in a fall arrest system which will slow you down if you fall. Avoid painting the roof just after it has rained.
  • Needless to say, heavy objects like ladders falling on your feet will result in broken bones. For your protection, wear steel-toed boots, which will keep your toes safe if something accidentally falls on them. They provide a good rubber traction, which comes in handy while painting the roof.
  • Don’t paint when there is lightning. If it starts raining while you are on the job, pack up everything right away. Fiberglass ladders will not protect you because electricity can arch from your house to you. Also, aluminum ladders conduct electricity and if it is struck by lightning you will receive a nasty shock.

At Southwest Professional Painting our experts can talk to you about safety measures while painting the exterior of your home. Give us a call 602-490-0979!

 

Top 5 Painting Blunders and their Solutions

Painting is not an easy job for sure – it takes time and effort to get it just right. Minor slip-ups are acceptable, but there are certain factors to be taken into consideration before you begin so that you don’t commit blunders that mess up your whole house.

Selecting low grade applicators

Always remember that you require proper tools to get the painting done properly. Lots of people spend a lot on paint but tighten their wallets when it comes to applicators. It is too late when you see lumps of roller lint under the paint or the layers of paint being uneven. Please buy good quality brushes or rollers.

Picking out over-bright hues

If you look at a dark color on the swatch, remember that the light of the room tends to brighten it. That is why a certain shade might look brighter when applied to a surface. Colors that are less saturated with gray mixed in, tends to resemble the hue that you were going for. In order to avoid this the color selected should be a couple of hues darker than the one you want.

Don’t forget the finish

The final look and feel of the room depends a lot on the paint’s finish. Since they affect the overall look, you need to be careful while buying the paint. There are numerous types to choose from like flat, matte or high gloss, so ask the pros what kind of finish the paint has.

Overdoing accent walls

For the last few years, accent walls were the “in thing”. This trend is now waning slightly, but if you still want them in your home, you need to go for a tone that is just two or three shades different from the other walls. It is advisable to opt for a semi gloss finish because that increases contrast.

Avoid white washing all walls and ceilings

It is always best to go for neutral shades such as beige, gray, or cream instead of painting everything stark white. The shade might be your favorite but it tends to make the entire room appear smaller than it actually is. Also when the walls and trim are white, the room emits a cold and formal vibe. White trim with a contrasting color helps to outline your walls and define the space.

Want help in revamping your home? Please give Southwest Professional Painting a call so that we can discuss your requirements and provide a quote ASAP.

Points to Remember while Selecting Paint Colors

Needless to say, choosing the “right” color for your home or office is extremely important. But it’s not always easy to just pick the best paint color especially when there are so many options available!

So what can we do to ensure that our choice is the right one?

  • Since the color sets the mood for a room, you need to consider that as one of the very first parameters. For example, do you want the room to have a vibrant feel with some bright colors or are you going for a more subtle and soothing look with neutral shades? An office, a living room or a bedroom will have different moods.
  • Next we come to the color combinations that work well. Red and black lend a lot of appeal to a living or dining room, while grays and blues are a good pair as well. Nowadays we see a lot of blue, white, yellow, and green being used in kitchens. When it comes to the bedroom, it is advisable to choose pastel shades. Be careful when you look at bright or dark shades as the former might cause irritability after a while and the latter tends to dim the mood.
  • Lighting plays an important role in the decision-making process. Paint samples need to be tested under natural, fluorescent, and incandescent lighting. Ideally, you should choose three shades of the color you want, test them under the lighting, and then make up your mind.
  • There is different terminology for describing colors – hue is the color itself, saturation measures the domination of the hue, value is for understanding how light or dark the hue is, whereas intensity is used to determine the brilliance of the color. All four terms factor into the final decision.
  • One of the biggest challenges is to establish if a single color scheme should be used or a mix ‘n’ match is needed. You can stick to one color group by using closely related shades or try a single color in different finishes. Accent colors can also be used, but ensure that they complement the base color group.

Southwest Professional Painting offers services for both commercial and residential purposes. Please feel free to give us a call and request a quote. Our representative will provide you with a detailed estimate, which ensures that you get value for money. 602-490-0979

 

How To Prep Your House For Painting

Are you contemplating re-painting your home? That is a great idea, but you also need to know about the mammoth task that comes before that – prepping the house. Though it might sound simple, it takes considerable time and effort to do that.

Here goes:

  • First and foremost, stock up on drop cloths. Place these under the areas that need to be painted.
  • All surfaces to be painted have to be crack-free and smooth. If there is unsightly old paint, ensure that you scrape and sand it. You might need a wire brush, or a power drill with paint-stripping attachments made of wire, while scraping old paint from a rough wood surface. Countersink any exposed nail heads and also spot prime areas if necessary.
  • Exercise caution while prepping the exterior of your house. Use putty and caulk to fill up nail head depressions, cracks, and flaws on the surfaces that are to be painted. You should scrape off old caulk and redo that portion with new caulk and primer. Apply the primer before re-caulking in the case of wood.
  • All impurities such as dirt and dust should be cleaned using a cloth or soft brush. Mildew should be removed completely as well as chalk residue. If the paint has become thin, peeled, or blistered in any area, apply primer and let it dry.
  • Sand glossy or shiny surfaces gently. This is done for proper adhesion. Remember to sand away “mill glaze” off new siding.
  • Brick and masonry surfaces might be streaked with a white powder or efflorescence, but you can remove it with a scraper and wire brush. Get to the root of the efflorescence so that you can get rid of it at the source.
  •  Clean and prime all gutters and downspouts before the painting is done. Previously painted gutters and downspouts might have rust or peeling, which you can eliminate with a brush and scraper. Sand the edges smooth, from sound paint to bare spots. Galvanized gutters and downspouts are covered with fabricating oil, which needs to be removed; after which you can prime it but use a latex product only.
  • There should be a 30-60 day gap when you are applying primer or topcoat on newly constructed block and stucco surfaces.

Southwest Professional Painting will take care of all your requirements and provide the best service in return

Professional Painting Does Make a Difference

People usually think that DIY is the cheapest route to take when it comes to painting. However, this might not be a wise decision in the long run. As a layman, you might not be aware of the correct painting techniques that will make it last for years. This means frequent touch-ups which may prove to be expensive. That is why it is best to leave the job to professionals.

Quality

A reputable company will take the quality of their painting service very seriously. Choosing the wrong paint can lead to deterioration of your home with issues like adhesion problems on your stucco, cracks or fading over time. Experienced painters with proper training and knowledge know about different types of paint brands, so they can ascertain the paint that is suitable for your home and will last for several years.

Professionalism

It is important to get true value for money. When you approach professional painters, they take your requirements into account and get the job done exactly as you want it. Representatives will inspect the area, understand your vision, and then provide a feasible solution.

Flexibility

Your time is very important. Professional painters understand that you need your home and workplace to function without disruptions, which is why they will adjust their schedule to ensure that they don’t get in the way of day-to-day operations.

Expenses

Professionals generally provide a flat fee for the painting instead of charging by the hour. The latter might sound cheaper but in case there is rain or a storm, the work needs to be stopped, and yet the rate has to be paid. Keep in mind that this is a solid investment that will last for years. The fee is quoted only after your home or office has been thoroughly inspected by company representatives.

Insurance and Warranty

Reliable firms will have an insurance policy in case there is an incident while the job is going on. If there is no insurance, you are financially liable for any accidents that occur while the painters are doing their work. Professional painters will offer a top-of-the-line warranty as well, which means that they are basically guaranteeing that you don’t have bother about painting for a few years.

Southwest Professional Painting prides itself on providing services that are responsive and convenient, whether it is a residential or commercial job. Feel free to call us or drop off an email if you have any questions or concerns about your painting project.

 

Tips to Enhance Space with Paints

The correct shade of paint can work wonders for a room. It can transform a dull and dreary room to a bright and vibrant one or lend a sophisticated feel to a space in a subtle way – the experimentation you can do with colors is simply endless. Moreover, you can also enlarge space by selecting the appropriate color. Here are some tips you could consider following –

  • The ceiling and walls should be painted with a single color. The room seems bigger as the eye is continuously traversing the space, thus making the boundaries and edges disappear. Walls look much taller than they are if you create a 6- to 12-inch-wide border of wall color on the entire ceiling perimeter.
  • White or light colors will raise the ceiling. If you wish to choose darker colors, there needs to be a high-gloss paint sheen that reflects light in order to have the space-enhancing effect. Different colors lead to compartmentalization and make the size of the room more obvious.
  • Alternatively, you could also paint the trim and walls the same color if you don’t have catchy moldings or trim, thereby blending them into the wall by giving a seamless appearance. A monochromatic outlook will increase the length and width of a room. Use a contrasting color with the wall in case you have decorative millwork or crown molding so that these features become more distinctive.
  • Pastels, cream, white or cool shades (with a bluish or greenish tinge) on the walls reflect light. This gives the illusion of more space.
  • Use horizontal and vertical stripes of alternating shades – the former forces your gaze around the perimeter, thus increasing the breadth by making the walls seem further than they actually are, while the vertical stripes will attract your attention upwards. For low-contrast stripes use similar light colors.
  • Creating a focal wall might help to a certain extent. It involves coloring one wall a deeper shade or different than the others. A darker hue on one wall can cause it to recede and make the room look bigger.
  • Adding one object in black to a room, such as a frame or lamp might work in some cases as it clarifies the other colors and grounds the space.

At Southwest Professional Painting, we believe in providing clients with true value for money. Our representative will assess your requirements and send an estimate, which contains details about the services that we provide along with the cost.